Distracted Driving: The #1 Cause of Car Accidents Today in Pennsylvania

Distracted driving has become an epidemic on Pennsylvania’s roadways. Official crash statistics reveal it as the number one cause of automobile accidents across the state today. This preventable yet persistent issue leads to countless injuries and deaths each year. As Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys, we see the devastation these wrecks bring to victims and families firsthand. Though Pennsylvania has taken legislative action to curb distracted driving, it remains a massive threat to public safety. We must take further measures to change behaviors and awareness around this critical problem.

Car Accident Statistics in Pennsylvania

The alarming data speaks for itself. In Pennsylvania, about 1 in 4 crashes involve distracted driving, per PennDOT reporting. This results in around 14,000 distracted driving crashes annually statewide. These collisions lead to nearly 4,000 injuries and take close to 400 lives each year. Tragically, national data shows over 3,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives in distracted driving incidents every year as well. It’s apparent why most experts peg it as the number one danger on our local roads and highways.

Cell Phone Usage

While distracted driving encompasses numerous behaviors, cell phone use while driving makes up one of the most common and deadliest forms of distraction. Whether making calls, texting, using apps or browsing online, phones pose massive risk despite our dependence on them. Stricter laws have banned texting and talking without hands-free devices for all drivers. Yet it does little to curb accidents when enforcement remains difficult.

Other Causes of Distracted Driving

Other leading types of distraction include operating in-dash infotainment systems, programming navigation, adjusting music, eating and drinking, interacting with passengers, and taking eyes off the road for extended periods. Even common activities we consider harmless severely compromise attention spans and reaction times while driving. Just two seconds of distraction doubles accident risk according to research.

The Consequences of Distracted Driving

The consequences inflicted by distracted driving crashes extend far and wide. Initial collision injuries bring physical, emotional and financial harm to direct victims. Long term medical complications, disability, lost income, therapy costs and reduced quality of life also emerge in the aftermath. Families, employers, healthcare systems and more absorb these direct and indirect impacts too. And when crashes turn fatal, agony and loss can haunt survivors indefinitely.

Eliminating the Scourge of Distracted Driving

So, where do we go from here? Cultural change starts with each of us. We must lead by example for young drivers and others when getting behind the wheel by ditching our devices and resisting all temptation to multitask. Supporting advocacy groups like Partners for Highway Safety provides another avenue to get involved at local and state levels. Backing legislation for stronger distracted driving policies and enforcement also helps send a message. We hold the power to reverse course if we have the will to do so. Lives hang in the balance.

Pursuing Justice for Distracted Driving Victims

For victims suffering life-altering injuries from distracted driving crashes, legal options exist to pursue financial damages. Pennsylvania personal injury or car accident lawyers can build strong claims to recover compensation for both economic and non-economic impacts.

Economic damages cover tangible losses like medical bills, lost wages from missed work, property damage expenses, and other costs stemming from crash injuries. Non-economic damages attempt to make up for more intangible effects on one’s quality of life, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship or consortium, and more.

In addition to obtaining rightful compensation for victims by negotiating settlements or winning court judgments, distracted driving lawsuits serve another vital purpose – bringing awareness and accountability to curb these preventable collisions. They highlight the true human impact from a reckless, negligent choice behind the wheel. The financial consequences can also deter distracted driving behaviors when drivers recognize the severe legal risks.

Partnering with an experienced personal injury law firm like Monge & Associates gives victims the best shot at securing justice. One of our car accident attorneys can navigate the legal process, investigate fault, demonstrate damages, and aggressively pursue fair compensation for victims’ losses. Though no amount of money can undo crash trauma, it provides means toward recovery.

The distracted driving crisis in Pennsylvania remains urgent and in need of our full attention. Distracted driving continues inflicting unspeakable pain and suffering to far too many. Through awareness, accountability and action, we can help prevent these entirely avoidable tragedies. The responsibility belongs to each of us.

We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Georgia. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you have been hurt in an accident involving a distracted driver.